Classic Book Challenge

This week was finals week and I got to go back to my hometown yesterday. Today starts the beginning of summer break. Every summer break, I enjoyed spending time with my family.

I like to read as well. In between semesters, I always do a challenge with books that are classic. I attempt to start and finish them by the end of the semester. This summer break’s book is Oliver Twist. Some of the classic books I read were books that were recommended by others and some were not.

The ones that were never recommended were Les Misérables and Oliver Twist. I actually read the entire Les Misérables in less than one summer. It was my love for the musical that gave me the courage to read the unabridged book. I honestly have no idea what me decide to read Oliver Twist at some point. I think it might have something to do with Les Misérables because the musical of Oliver inspired the lyricist to make a musical of the book.

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My dad recommend Don Quixote, Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. He recommended me to read Tale of Two Cities due to my love for Les Mis because the book takes place during the French Revolution and that event happened before the events in Les Mis took place. He even knew that I should read Great Expectations as well because I love Charles Dickens. My dad told me some about Don Quixote and I think he told me about the nature him being a knight errant and told me about his squire. I eventually did a project in school about Don Quixote and was fascinated in reading the book after discovering that Don quixote is a tragicomic character, a type of character I never discovered before.

So why do I attempt to read the classics in a short period of time? Well during the school year, it is too hard to read a classic due to how challenging they are. So the only time I can actually read them is in between semesters. Also giving me a goal of when to finish them gives the motivation to continue reading. Look at Don Quixote and Les Misérables: they were the longest classic I read and finished them in one summer. There are days while reading these classics that made it much harder to read them.

So this summer’s challenge belongs to Oliver Twist.

a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/final/”>Final

Favorite Musical Protagonists

This is a list of some memorable musical main characters.

  1. Elphaba and Glinda
  2. Jean Valjean
  3. Annie
  4. Jack Kelly
  5. Miguel De Cervantes/ Don Quixote
  6. Maria Von Trapp
  7. Pippin
  8. Roger and Mark
  9. Harold Hill
  10. Nellie and Emelie

Highlights of this Summer

I have had a wonderful summer. Below is a list of highlights.

  1. Outing to Asheville
  2. Les Mis Party
  3. Vacation to Florida
  4. Crowders
  5. Newsies
  6. Reading Don Quixote

I am so glad I attended a Les Mis party. As many know, I am a huge Les Mis fan and also obsessed with it. It was a night of Karaoke and the house was decorated with things relating to the musical. Some things in the house were labeled with either lyrics from the music or quotes from the book. I really loved the Karaoke because it was fun singing the songs that I love and show my passion to others.

Hiking to Crowders was quite special. I have always been a mountain and nature person. There is something spiritual about hiking. Even though hiking can be difficult, it still helps develop your spirituality.Also, hiking is so worth it in the end because the view is a wonderful sight. You can look out and really see how amazing God’s creation is. No matter what, you are alway surrounded by nature.

The same weekend I went to Crowders, I also got to see the Disney musical, Newsies. Newsies is about the real-life paper boy strike of 1899. These boys are underdogs who stand up for what they believe in and treat each other like family. Most of them are underdogs and have difficult lives. The main character is Jack Kelly, who leads the strike and falls in love with Katherine. He has a special relationship with Crutchie and Crutchie has a bad leg and due to that has to walk with a crutch. Despite the disability, that doesn’t stop him from enjoying life and in a lot of ways, he is the heart of the Newsies. This show had a lot of mind-blowing choreography. They were doing flips, jumping over each other, sliding under each other, and high jumps. I even loved the storyline especially because it is based off of a true story. I even loved the songs and I loved them so much that I want to own the soundtrack. My favorite song was “Seize the Day”, the title song. This show was happy and I am hoping that most musicals remain that way. In my interpretation of musicals now, most musicals are happy.

Another highlight of this summer was reading the classic, Don Quixote. I decided to try to finish the book by the end of the summer. I finished it in July and it was so worth it. I enjoyed the book especially because I love the characters of Sancho Panza and Don Quixote and their relationship. Yes, reading it was quite a challenge because the plot was so complex and the language was difficult. It also was around nine hundred pages and what gave me the courage to finish the book was that I set a goal for myself of when I wanted to finish it.

The Poetry of List-Making

Don Quixote Review

I spent this summer attempting to finish Don Quixote. Don Quixote is an old classic written by Miguel De Cervantes. It follows the chivalry adventure of Don Quixote and his squire Sancho Panza. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It has such a wonderful story filled with memorable characters even though it is easy to get some of them mixed.

The two most memorable characters are Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Those two represent where the core of the story comes from. I especially love Don Quixote, the crazy, foolish, valiant, brave knight errant who rights all wrongs. He also is a tragicomic character and it was fun discovering why he is tragic and comic. He is comic due to his sense of humor, foolishness, and craziness, but he is tragic because he is delusional and in a sense some of his comic characteristics could easily be flaws. His adventures are much more fun in the second half of the book then the first half. In the second half, Don Quixote is treated the most as a knight and the adventures seem real. I know he is having adventures through delusions, but I still love him. In fact some of his adventures are shown through other characters playing tricks on him by pretending to be characters in the knight errant world.

As for Sancho Panza, he is the loyal squire of Don Quixote. Sancho Panza also has a sense of humor. He sometimes just doesn’t like being a squire due to his master’s madness. He went along with his adventures because Don Quixote promised him that he would be a governor of an island someday. But Sancho would soon realize that he would rather follow along with his master’s madness then being a governor.

The book has an underlying spirituality to it. It mentions God several times and is filled with several parables. The parables are invented by Sancho, which runs in his family. In a sense, I feel like Don Quixote sees Dulcinea as a kind of goddess, which connects to the spiritual aspect.

The plot is filled with many twists and turns. Cervantes is crazy at times. There are times when he interests short novels into the plot. A character would be reading the story and having those short novels in there kind of makes you get mixed up with reality in a sense. You begin to wonder what is really happening and what is going on in the short story. Sometimes a character would tell their life story, which in a sense can also feel like a short story. Cervantes even inserted a fake book of the second part of Don Quixote after someone wrote a sequel to it. Part of the true second part of the book has Don Quixote and Sancho showing the wrong done to the fake book. Cervantes even inserts himself into the book.

This book is quite a difficult one to write a review. It is essentially a tragicomedy, which is a genre I am hardly familiar with. I found this book so much harder to read then Les Misérables. I read Victor Hugo’s unabridged masterpiece last summer and finished it in a shorter amount of time then Don Quixote. The reason why Don Quixote took me longer was because I found it harder to grasp and understand due to the tragicomic nature of the book. I also found it easier to skip a day of reading. Even the language is harder to understand because Cervantes does write a lot in a kind of Shakespearean way. This book is truly a classic.

What is it about Don Quixote that makes it such a classic? I think it is a classic because I think everyone has a bit of Don Quixote in them. We all have a different perception of reality. We all can be quite crazy or foolish at times. This book also shows the importance of imagination.

“The Impossible Dream”

“To dream the impossible dream, to fight the unbeatable foe, to bear with unbearable sorrow, to run where the brave dare not go”

Those above lyrics are from the song, “The Impossible Dream”, which is from  the musical, “Man of La Mancha”. For a Spanish project, I had to research the character and book, Don Quixote. Don Quixote is an interesting character because he is both tragic and comic, and that is the first time I found a literary character who is like that. The musical, “Man of La Mancha” is based off of the book, Don Quixote.

The musical is basically a show within a show. I saw the movie version of the musical last night. It starts with Miguel de Cervantes being arrested and in the dungeon, he arranges for the other prisoners to take part in a show, which is based off his book, Don Quixote. Miguel de Cervantes ended up playing the part of Don Quixote. He was an incredible Don Quixote because he truly acted like a knight errant. On Don Quixote’s deathbed, I almost cried. The actor who played Don Quixote’s squire was also lovely and always was there for his master. The actress who played Aldonza was also amazing.

One of the confusing parts about “Man of La Mancha” is that there are two beginnings and two endings. That is mainly because it is a story within a story. The first beginning starts when Cervantes and his assistant are putting together a show. The second beginning is when Cervantes starts describing who Don Quixote is. The first ending is when Don Quixote dies and the second ending is when Cervantes leaves the dungeon.

The sets were lovely, which convinced me that it was Spain. It also had a good collection of songs. Some of the songs stood out more than the others, which included the best song, “The Impossible Dream”. After seeing the movie, the musical ended up being meaningful to me because the character of Don Quixote already meant something to  me. He fascinates me because of his comic and tragic nature. There is a huge difference between tragic and comic elements coming together separately versus the two elements coming together in one character.